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War Of The Rose


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DATE: June 5th Edition

SOURCE: People Magazine

War of the Rose While firing up his comeback in New York City, AXL ROSE draws sparks from Tommy Hilfiger

5 June 2006

People Magazine

Copyright © 2006 Bell & Howell Information and Learning Company. All rights reserved.

Capping a week of blazing New York City gigs hailed by fans and critics alike, Guns N' Roses frontman Axl Rose was due to play at a birthday party for actress Rosario Dawson on May 19. But a funny thing happened on his way to the stage: He went toe-to-toe with a most unlikely foe--55-year-old fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger.

Welcome to Axl's bizarre jungle. With hits like "Sweet Child o' Mine," Guns N' Roses was once the biggest metal band in the world. But by the early '90s, the requisite Behind the Music lifestyle mixed with Rose's temper and crippling perfectionism had turned him into a musical Howard Hughes. Even close pals haven't seen much of Rose, 44, who has been holed up in L.A. for the past decade working on a new album, Chinese Democracy, with a revolving cast of bandmates. His 2002 comeback tour flamed out when he failed to show up for a Philadelphia gig. "He's still the same old weird Axl he's always been," says a source close to the band.

Pals say Rose, who once dated model Stephanie Seymour and is now seeing British model Dyan O'Connor, 27 (coincidentally the ex-wife of Hilfiger's close friend Michael Houghton), is happy these days and excited about Democracy, due this fall. "He's always been larger than life in the way he parties and gives everything," says ex-Skid Row singer Sebastian Bach. "When he disappears, people don't understand he's just trying to make something great."

Returning to the stage, Rose (in New York City May 12) told KROQ radio in L.A., was "the smartest thing I've done in at least 10 years." The band is currently touring in Europe. In their heyday, Guns N' Roses sold tens of millions of albums. Sources say the brawl at the club Plumm began when Hilfiger tried to stop Rose from moving Hilfiger's girlfriend's drink. (Hilfiger's reps had no comment.) Security men gave the designer the boot after he hit Rose's eye. The show did go on; Rose even dedicated the song "You're Crazy" to Hilfiger. "Everyone laughed," says a witness.

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